Thursday, May 1, 2014

Desperate times lead to desperate measures....

So after dealing with many "broken" things an update....
  • New haircut (meh - it will grow)
  • New Garmin (I can even make it work)
  • New knee (not yet)
  • New & improved, faster run - let's not get carried away
Physio has led to progress; time to heal while minimizing irritation to my knee has been accomplished through water running; ice, as always, is my friend.  Water running more than 45 min is mind numbing, however, I've survived up to 1.5 hours --> really mind numbing!

Plan B - endorsed by the physio and the coach - try an anti-gravity treadmill for running. Enter Footjax and AlterG setup at Winsport Medical Clinic. I've had one trial session and the first of some scheduled sessions.  After the trial session, my quads and hams were a bit sore - like I'd been running! No knee pain!! I've decided to give it a try. Very interesting feeling - you put on a pair of neoprene shorts with a "skirt" attached, similar to a skirt that you'd wear while kayaking. Then you zip yourself into the air bladder of the treadmill, turn it on, it calibrates to your body weight. The air pressure can take up to 80% of your body weight - you can adjust speed, incline, % body weight and walk forward or reverse on the treadmill. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.....

I ran/walked for an hour on the antigravity treadmill and no pain in my knee the next day! I was able to maintain my heart rate in my prescribed zones by adjusting the incline and speed. I kept my body weight at 50% for the hour. I ran as fast as 9 mph (14 kph) - for about 30 seconds....  

I feel the advantage for me over water running (which I will continue) is that you're actually running with foot strike and toe off vs. water running where you can alter your technique quite a bit without realizing it. I do try to pay attention to technique with water running - knee drive and relaxed heel to butt with toe off, foot dorsiflexed as you approach mid-foot stance. The plan with the anti-gravity treadmill is to use it as a rehab tool to gradually increase my volume and the weight I take through my body. Relieving the impact on my knee joint is the key so we'll see how I go.  And.... it continues to be yet another example of how reducing my body weight will do only good things for me. Another challenge for me on the road to Ironman Arizona!

Off to bike camp in Vernon for a week with the Talisman Tri Club and the expert coaching of Jack and Paul.

Happy training - Ciao, Cindy

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